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Innovating The Experience – Local Artists and Musicians Go Digital


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There has been a lot of talk on how the entertainment industry has been affected by self isolation and the order of no social gatherings of 15 people. Over the last few weeks we have seen incredible creativity from some artists and musicians for how they can stay relevant and connected to their fans.

One artist that stands out is from Chris Mitchell Jazz Enterprises. A man known for his aptitude for jazz music and highly regarded for his saxophone playing. Chris Mitchell is an American saxophonist whose 3rd album, The Chris Mitchell Experience, brought him “breakthrough recognition” in 2013. Performing across Canada and internationally, he truly believes his music is entertaining for all everyone. He now lives in Calgary and by recommendations from friends and family, has performed several live performances in venues across the city.

“These past few years of performing in Calgary have been amazing”


Since the onslaught of closures continues for venues and stages across the country, Chris has been one to seize the moment to bring the experience online. He has integrated Chris Mitchell TV into his website where fans can pay a small fee to watch live performances. At a time where music fans everywhere are at a loss for when they can see their favourite artist on stage, it brings a unique alternative to experience the performance as well as support them during this time. A true talent and innovator in how he can share his experience.

“This lifestyle is unpredictable. Live in the moment and continue planning for the future”
Chris MItchell, 2020

Artists across Calgary have seen event cancellations to numerous art shows and the postponing of gallery events such as the 12th Annual Love show art event which was scheduled for April 18th however now has been postponed until June 20th. 

An artist by the name of David Grudniski reached out simply looking to increase his mailing list and showcase his passion through his work. A good way to spend this time growing a network of people who may not have heard your name before. He is a local Calgary artist and entrepreneur who has created a collection he calls “Inner City Expressions” which includes over 70 paintings and 500 drawings, some of his incredible works are available on his website for purchase. He has exhibited solo and group shows in Italy, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. We look forward to hearing more about his independent solo exhibition coming in the near future. 

If you like to learn more about local Calgary artists and their work take a look at Art Match. It is a matchmaking service between talented, local artists and art-lovers of any age, budget, and style, seeking affordable & original art for their homes & businesses. We have incredible artists in this city and the level of talent is truly inspiring for young artists developing their talents. Thank you to the Alberta University of the Arts for developing the skills and knowledge to become successful artists thus adding to our diverse arts culture in Calgary.

Calgary Arts Development is another fantastic organization providing resources and information for the arts community across the city. They released a statement from their town hall meeting on March 25th, 2020 stating:

“Calgary Arts Development’s March 25, 2020 town hall, $1.15 million has been allocated toward providing immediate relief to some of the arts organizations as well as arts and cultural workers in the most urgent need due to COVID-19 impacts”

This fund will directly relate to artists, arts organizations and cultural workers. The statement mentions $950,000 will be directly allocated to arts organizations and another $200,000 will be allocated to artists and cultural workers. A breath of fresh air for some artists across the city I am sure.

They also have a diverse list on their website for other artists similar to Chris Mitchell who are moving their experience online. Check out what some of our local artists are doing to innovate in this time of self isolation due to Covid-19 by visiting their “Online Offerings”. There is access to several local shows that have moved to live videos and gallery tours. They strive to keep the community informed about news and changes to the arts community, keep yourself informed by visiting their website or social media. 


For more stories visit Todayville Calgary


The Negation of Reality in Roald Dahl’s Literary Classic

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From the Brownstone Institute


Last weekend it was reported how books by the popular children’s book author, Roald Dahl, are now being republished after significant changes to the texts. According to The Guardian, the changes are only about removing “offensive language” from his books. The Roald Dahl Story Company says the changes are minor and only about making the text more accessible and “inclusive“ to modern readers.

Gerald Posner covered the issue on February 19th, citing a few examples of changes, which are certainly not minor; entire paragraphs are removed or altered beyond recognition. There are hundreds of changes, Posner says, agreeing with writer Salman Rushdie who has called these changes “absurd censorship.”

Nick Dixon has published a short piece on the matter in the Daily Skeptic, pointing out how some of the changes make Dahl’s text lifeless and flat and how all humour is carefully removed. Example from Matilda: “Your daughter Vanessa, judging by what she’s learnt this term, has no hearing organs at all” becomes “Judging by what your daughter Vanessa has learnt this term, this fact alone is more interesting than anything I have taught in the classroom.”

In other cases, the meaning simply disappears: “It nearly killed Ashton as well. Half the skin came away from his scalp” becomes “It didn’t do Ashton much good.” Some of the changes are outright absurdly silly, considering when the original text was written. One example Dixon takes: “Even if she is working as a cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman” becomes “Even if she is working as a top scientist or running a business.”

“Mother” becomes “parent,” “man” becomes “person,” and “men” become “people.” “We eat little boys and girls” becomes “We eat little children.” Boys and girls have no right to exist anymore, no more than mothers or fathers; biological sex is prohibited. But the censors, sarcastically called Inclusive Minds, don’t seem to be bothered by the practice of eating children.

References to authors currently banned for unfashionable beliefs are removed or changed. Joseph Conrad becomes Jane Austen. Rudyard Kipling becomes John Steinbeck.

Nothing is mild enough to escape the watchful eyes of the censors, Dixon says, noting how “Shut up, you nut!” becomes “Ssshhh!” and “turning white” becomes “turning quite pale.”  To the “inclusive,“ “white“ is a forbidden word of course.

Suzanne Nossel, president of the American branch of the PEN writers’ organization, expresses her dismay in an interview with the Washington Post“Literature is meant to be surprising and provocative,” Nossel says, explaining how attempts at purging texts of words that might offend someone “dilute the power of storytelling.”

Roald Dahl is by no means uncontroversial. But his stories are the actual stories he wrote. The watered down and sanitised texts of the censors are simply no longer the author’s stories.

Or, as Posner concludes: “Words matter. The problem is that the Dahl sensitivity censorship sets a template for other hugely successful author franchises. Readers should know that the words they read are no longer the words the author wrote.”

The destruction of Roald Dahl’s books is yet another sign of the all-pervasive negation of reality we now face. We see this negation all around us, in literature, history, politics, economics, even in the sciences. Objective reality gives way to subjective experience, emotions, or preferences in place of what is true.

It gives way, in fact, to radical subjectivism, which might just be the logical, yet contradictory conclusion of the victorious march of individualism in the West over the past few decades. It gives way, until all our common points of reference are gone, until our common sense has all but disappeared; until, atomised, lonely, incapable of meaningful communication, we no longer share a society. What takes its place will surely be no fairy tale.

And what better example of this negation of reality than the Guardian’s headline, whereby the total destruction of the work of a beloved author becomes “removing offensive language” in a few places?

Republished from the author’s Substack


  • Thorsteinn Siglaugsson

    Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an Icelandic consultant, entrepreneur and writer and contributes regularly to The Daily Sceptic as well as various Icelandic publications. He holds a BA degree in philosophy and an MBA from INSEAD. Thorsteinn is a certified expert in the Theory of Constraints and author of From Symptoms to Causes – Applying the Logical Thinking Process to an Everyday Problem.

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Visitors can see famed Florence baptistry’s mosaics up close

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By Francesco Sportelli in Florence

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Visitors to one of Florence’s most iconic monuments — the Baptistry of San Giovanni, opposite the city’s Duomo — are getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see its ceiling mosaics up close thanks to an innovative approach to a planned restoration effort.

Rather than limit the public’s access during the six-year cleaning of the vault, officials built a scaffolding platform for the art restorers that will also allow small numbers of visitors to see the ceiling mosaics at eye level.

“We had to turn this occasion into an opportunity to make it even more accessible and usable by the public through special routes that would bring visitors into direct contact with the mosaics,” Samuele Caciagli, the architect in charge of the restoration site, said.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Caciagli called the new scaffolding tour of the baptistry vault “a unique opportunity that is unlikely to be repeated in the coming decades.”

The scaffolding platform sprouts like a mushroom from the floor of the baptistry and reaches a height of 32 meters (105 feet) from the ground. Visits are set to start Feb. 24 and must be reserved in advance.

The octagonal-shaped baptistry is one of the most visible monuments of Florence. Its exterior features an alternating geometric pattern of white Carrara and green Prato marble and three great bronze doors depicting biblical scenes.

Inside, however, are spectacular mosaic scenes of The Last Judgment and John the Baptist dating from the 13th century and created using some 10 million pieces of stone and glass over 1,000 square meters of dome and wall.

The six-year restoration project is the first in over a century. It initially involves conducting studies on the current state of the mosaics to determine what needs to be done. The expected work includes addressing any water damage to the mortar , removing decades of grime and reaffixing the stones to prevent them from detaching.

“(This first phase) is a bit like the diagnosis of a patient: a whole series of diagnostic investigations are carried out to understand what pathologies of degradation are present on the mosaic material but also on the whole attachment package that holds this mosaic material to the structure behind it,” Beatrice Agostini, who is in charge of the restoration work, said.

The Baptistry of San Giovanni and its mosaics have undergone previous restorations over the centuries, many of them inefficient or even damaging to the structure. During one botched effort in 1819, an entire section of mosaics detached. Persistent water damage from roof leaks did not get resolved until 2014-2015.

Roberto Nardi, director of the Archaeological Conservation Center, the private company managing the restoration, said the planned work wouldn’t introduce any material that is foreign to the original types of stone and mortar used centuries ago.

“It is a mix of science, technology, experience and tradition,” he said.

The origins of the baptistry are something of a mystery. Some believe it was once a pagan temple, though the current structure dates from the 4th or 5th centuries.

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